Milwaukee Record Staff – Milwaukee Record http://milwaukeerecord.com Music, culture, gentle sarcasm. Fri, 14 Dec 2018 21:24:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.1 http://milwaukeerecord.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/cropped-mrapp-32x32.jpg Milwaukee Record Staff – Milwaukee Record http://milwaukeerecord.com 32 32 Local Coverage 2019 https://pabsttheater.org/event/localcoverage2019/#new_tab Fri, 14 Dec 2018 06:17:53 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=449 The post Local Coverage 2019 appeared first on Milwaukee Record.

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Take a look inside Crossroads Collective, which opens Monday http://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/take-a-look-inside-crossroads-collective-which-opens-monday/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/take-a-look-inside-crossroads-collective-which-opens-monday/#respond Fri, 14 Dec 2018 06:08:34 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=59740 n just a few days, an iconic corner of Milwaukee’s East Side will return to life. Crossroads Collective, the much-anticipated food hall located in the old Oriental Drugs building (2238 N. Farwell Ave.), will open its doors on Monday, December 17. Eight local vendors will call Crossroads home, including Laughing Taco, Beerline Cafe, Falafel Guys, […]

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In just a few days, an iconic corner of Milwaukee’s East Side will return to life. Crossroads Collective, the much-anticipated food hall located in the old Oriental Drugs building (2238 N. Farwell Ave.), will open its doors on Monday, December 17. Eight local vendors will call Crossroads home, including Laughing Taco, Beerline Cafe, Falafel Guys, Heaven’s Table BBQ, and Scratch Ice Cream. Two bars and a warm-and-fuzzy lunch counter vibe will round out the new East Side destination.

On Thursday, Crossroads hosted a soft opening for friends, family, and websites that inadvertently inspired its name. Wanna take a look inside? Of course you do. This is gonna be good. (All photos by Wendy Schreier, unless otherwise noted.)

Photo: Matt Wild

Photo: Matt Wild

Photo: Matt Wild

 

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Let’s talk about “The Avenue,” Marcus Center, Eaux Claires, more http://milwaukeerecord.com/podcast/avenue-marcus-center-eaux-claires-more/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/podcast/avenue-marcus-center-eaux-claires-more/#respond Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:56:50 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=59684 Every Wednesday at noon, Ryan Schleicher, Evan Rytlewski, and Matt Wild take to the WMSE airwaves to discuss all things Milwaukee. This half-hour fun-fest is called The Disclaimer, so named because none of the oft-ridiculous views expressed on the show necessarily reflect the views of the hosts’ employers. Milwaukee music, Milwaukee art, Milwaukee events, and […]

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Every Wednesday at noon, Ryan Schleicher, Evan Rytlewski, and Matt Wild take to the WMSE airwaves to discuss all things Milwaukee. This half-hour fun-fest is called The Disclaimer, so named because none of the oft-ridiculous views expressed on the show necessarily reflect the views of the hosts’ employers. Milwaukee music, Milwaukee art, Milwaukee events, and D.I.Y. lawn care tips are frequently discussed—and rarely agreed upon. The Disclaimer: Talk radio for the sane.

With Ryan out for the week, Evan and Matt dig into a boatload of Milwaukee (and Wisconsin) news. First up, the long-beleaguered Shops of Grand Avenue. The new name (“The Avenue”)! The new food hall (“3rd Street Market Hall”)! The apparent end of the Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra! Next up, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The redesign! The “great lawn”! The “Black Forest”? Finally, Evan ponders the annual Eaux Claires festival and its just-announced 2019 hiatus.

Agree? Disagree? Lonely? Like The Disclaimer on Facebook and subscribe via iTunes.

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On The Record #146: This is us discussing ‘This Is Us’ http://milwaukeerecord.com/podcast/on-the-record-146-this-is-us-discussing-this-is-us/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/podcast/on-the-record-146-this-is-us-discussing-this-is-us/#respond Wed, 12 Dec 2018 06:55:33 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=59593 Midway through its third season, This Is Us has quickly become one of network TV’s biggest shows. The generation-jumping NBC drama has captured the hearts of millions, won a slew of accolades, earned heaps of critical acclaim, and inspired a handful of knockoffs on other channels. The show recently entered its fall break, and boy, […]

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Midway through its third season, This Is Us has quickly become one of network TV’s biggest shows. The generation-jumping NBC drama has captured the hearts of millions, won a slew of accolades, earned heaps of critical acclaim, and inspired a handful of knockoffs on other channels. The show recently entered its fall break, and boy, do viewers have a lot to talk about!

Though it has absolutely nothing to do with Milwaukee in any way, This Is Us devotee/On The Record host Tyler Maas asked Matt Mueller—an OnMilwaukee writer and This Is Us recapper—to meet him at Club Garibaldi for a lengthy, winding discussion about the show. There, they talked about their introductions to the program, what they’ve thought about this chaotic and busy first half of the third season, things they like and dislike about This Is Us, and characters they want to see more (or less) of in the next eight episodes. They also make some very specific predictions about where the series is headed. Warning: there are tons of spoilers, so if you’re not caught up, maybe sit this one out.

This episode is brought to you by Surly Brewing, a Minnesota-based brewery and the official beer of On The Record. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Piles (“Blue Glue”) The Zach Pietrini Band (“I’ll Write You”). Subscribe to On The Record via iTunes or Stitcher (for free!).

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Riverwest FemFest announces 2018 totals, opens 2019 performer applications http://milwaukeerecord.com/city-life/riverwest-femfest-announces-2018-totals-opens-2019-performer-applications/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/city-life/riverwest-femfest-announces-2018-totals-opens-2019-performer-applications/#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 22:27:26 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=59589 This year saw some important changes for Riverwest FemFest. The fourth annual benefit was moved from winter to late spring, and it expanded its footprint from five days to eight. But the festival’s goal remained the same: spotlighting some of the region’s best female and femme-identifying musicians, comics, artists, filmmakers, and makers, all the while supporting […]

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This year saw some important changes for Riverwest FemFest. The fourth annual benefit was moved from winter to late spring, and it expanded its footprint from five days to eight. But the festival’s goal remained the same: spotlighting some of the region’s best female and femme-identifying musicians, comics, artists, filmmakers, and makers, all the while supporting vital groups and services. Like always, the festival was awesome and it raised a ton of money for three deserving local organizations.

Today, Riverwest FemFest organizers announced that 2018’s festivities earned a total of $5,272.25. The sum will be split between Courage MKE (receiving $2,108.90), Casa Maria ($2,108.90), and Milwaukee Women’s Center ($1,054.45).

Riverwest FemFest also opened applications for musicians, spoken word performers, comedians, visual artists, and workshop presenters today. Applications for Riverwest FemFest 2019—scheduled to take place from May 26 to June 2—can be filled out online. The deadline to apply is January 31.

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Public Domain: Caley Conway performs “Jingle Bells” http://milwaukeerecord.com/music/public-domain-caley-conway-performs-jingle-bells/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/music/public-domain-caley-conway-performs-jingle-bells/#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 06:55:32 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=59298 Milwaukee Record is proud to present Public Domain. The monthly video series features Milwaukee musicians setting up at Colectivo Coffee to adapt some of the world’s best-known songs in ways they’ve never been heard before. Watch the entire series here. “Jingle Bells” isn’t just one of the most popular holiday songs of all time. It’s one […]

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Milwaukee Record is proud to present Public Domain. The monthly video series features Milwaukee musicians setting up at Colectivo Coffee to adapt some of the world’s best-known songs in ways they’ve never been heard before. Watch the entire series here.

“Jingle Bells” isn’t just one of the most popular holiday songs of all time. It’s one of the most popular songs of all time—period. Since New England songwriter James Lord Pierpont published the song—originally under the name “The One Horse Open Sleigh”—in 1857, the wintry standard has taken many forms. Allegedly, Pierpont intended his composition to be a song for Thanksgiving. However, it instantly caught on as a Christmastime classic, as well as a popular late 19th century party song. Eventually, the song’s name was changed to “Jingle Bells,” and both its melody and some of the lyrics in its four verses (yes, the song has four verses!) were slightly changed to their present form.

Though the song was written more than 160 years ago, the first recording wasn’t until Will Lyle put the song on Edison cylinder in 1889. Since then, “Jingle Bells” has been performed countless times, including renditions by the likes of Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Barry Manilow, NSync, Smokey Robinson, Frank Sinatra, Gwen Stefani, and Barbara Streisand, and even The Chipmunks. “Jingle Bells” also had the unique distinction of being the first song broadcast from space when astronauts played it back to earth from Gemini 6 in 1965.

Now, Milwaukee’s own Caley Conway and her band are the latest to take their turn with “Jingle Bells.” The relaxed version of the traditionally lively song is a standout cover from Conway’s 2017 Heart Be Light EP and an outstanding extension of the holiday favorite’s long and rich history. The video was shot, directed, and edited by Cheston Van Huss. Public Domain is sponsored by Colectivo Coffee Roasters, 3 Sheeps Brewing Company, and Transfer Pizzeria Café.

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Your Radio Milwaukee Music Awards winners are… http://milwaukeerecord.com/music/your-radio-milwaukee-music-awards-winners-are-2/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/music/your-radio-milwaukee-music-awards-winners-are-2/#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 03:58:06 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=59364 Following weeks of voting, band campaigning, and DJ deliberation, 88Nine named the winners of the 11th annual Radio Milwaukee Music Awards during an event at the listener-supported station’s Pittsburgh Avenue headquarters Thursday night. Between performances by House Of Renji, Paper Holland, Amanda Huff, Dramatic Lovers, and DJ sets by Moses, a total of 12 awards […]

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Following weeks of voting, band campaigning, and DJ deliberation, 88Nine named the winners of the 11th annual Radio Milwaukee Music Awards during an event at the listener-supported station’s Pittsburgh Avenue headquarters Thursday night. Between performances by House Of Renji, Paper Holland, Amanda Huff, Dramatic Lovers, and DJ sets by Moses, a total of 12 awards were distributed to musicians, humanitarians, artists, and ambassadors. Here’s the list of winners.

Album Of The Year – Lorde Fredd33, NORF: The Legend of Hotboy Ronald
Band Of The Year – Immortal Girlfriend
Song Of The Year – Abby Jeanne, “Be In The Sun”
Solo Artist Of The Year – Amanda Huff
Critic’s Choice – Lorde Fredd33, NORF: The Legend of Hotboy Ronald
Best Disc We Missed – DelMar the Poet, Rafters
Independent Release Of The Year – Shle Berry, Parallels
Best Album Artwork – Amanda Huff, Hemiptera
Music Video Of The Year – Amanda Huff, “Gravetalking”
Humanitarian Of The Year – Diverse And Resilient
Music Ambassador Of The Year – Kelsey Kaufmann
Rising Star (recognizing an artist 17 years old or younger): Iris Ramirez

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Let’s talk about (and listen to) the best Milwaukee music of 2018 http://milwaukeerecord.com/podcast/talk-about-listen-best-milwaukee-music-2018/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/podcast/talk-about-listen-best-milwaukee-music-2018/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 16:37:35 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=59349 Every Wednesday at noon, Ryan Schleicher, Evan Rytlewski, and Matt Wild take to the WMSE airwaves to discuss all things Milwaukee. This half-hour fun-fest is called The Disclaimer, so named because none of the oft-ridiculous views expressed on the show necessarily reflect the views of the hosts; employers. Milwaukee music, Milwaukee art, Milwaukee events, and […]

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Every Wednesday at noon, Ryan Schleicher, Evan Rytlewski, and Matt Wild take to the WMSE airwaves to discuss all things Milwaukee. This half-hour fun-fest is called The Disclaimer, so named because none of the oft-ridiculous views expressed on the show necessarily reflect the views of the hosts; employers. Milwaukee music, Milwaukee art, Milwaukee events, and D.I.Y. lawn care tips are frequently discussed—and rarely agreed upon. The Disclaimer: Talk radio for the sane.

On another music-filled year-end roundup of The Disclaimer, Matt discusses some of the albums that made Milwaukee Record‘s 25 best albums of 2018 list (Dogs In Ecstasy, Lex Allen, Nickel&Rose, more), Evan digs into a few that made the Shepherd Express‘ essential Milwaukee albums of 2018 list (Barely Civil, Versio Curs, Amanda Huff, more), and Ryan risks life and limb by bringing up Ugly Kid Joe.

Agree? Disagree? Lonely? Like The Disclaimer on Facebook and subscribe via iTunes.

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The 25 best Milwaukee Record stories of 2018 http://milwaukeerecord.com/city-life/25-best-milwaukee-record-stories-2018/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/city-life/25-best-milwaukee-record-stories-2018/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 06:18:50 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=59292 ilwaukee Record launched on April 7, 2014. Since then, we’ve published more than 4,500 stories, reached millions upon millions of internet-weary eyeballs, and concocted all sorts of wonderful and ridiculous stuff. Now, as our fourth full year of existence comes to a close, we’ve rounded up some of the best stories we published in 2018. A […]

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Milwaukee Record launched on April 7, 2014. Since then, we’ve published more than 4,500 stories, reached millions upon millions of internet-weary eyeballs, and concocted all sorts of wonderful and ridiculous stuff. Now, as our fourth full year of existence comes to a close, we’ve rounded up some of the best stories we published in 2018. A huge thanks, as always, to our incredible ad partners and sponsors, our ridiculously talented writers, and our loyal readers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

January 22
Milwaukee women DJs play out, speak up, and take over
“People think I’m going to come in with my laptop and play something fluffy or funny, like Journey or something,” Norton says. “They assume that, just because I’m a girl, I don’t know how to use needles and a headphone.”

February 16
My cheesy valentine: A romantic, $150-per-couple dinner at Mars Cheese Castle
The kitchen ran out of food in the middle of serving our table, so I sat there for a while looking hungry as everyone else at the table ate. There was a sense that the entire restaurant staff was straining to level-up for this formal dining experience, accustomed as they were to casually spilling burgers and fries into plastic baskets and calling it a day. My husband made use of the gap by handing me a Valentine’s card with the note, “Thank you for curating our beautiful life.” This struck me as sarcasm, frankly.

April 11
Milwaukee neighborhood posters, ranked
From 1983 to 1990, Milwaukee Department of City Development had a local graphic designer named Jan Kotowicz design a neighborhood poster for a variety of different Milwaukee neighborhoods. With funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program, the illustrator joined forces with local historian John Gurda to create a total of 27 dazzling posters with neighborhood history on the poster’s reverse side. Each address in a specific neighborhood was mailed that region’s poster free of charge as part of what Gurda called a “city-building initiative.”

April 25
Bowling In Place #2: Holler House
We walked into the first floor bar at Holler House around 2 p.m. and received a warm reception from all 25-ish people filling the cozy space. There were two TVs above the bar, with the Brewers game on one and the Bucks game on the other. Four generations of Milwaukeeans in the room nearly spilled their chicken and scalloped potatoes after Giannis’ Game 4-winning tip-in. And, bras. There are hundreds of signed bras hanging all around the bar, left lovingly by past visitors.

May 17
We went to the Oak Creek IKEA opening at 5 a.m.: A minute-by-minute report
6:23 a.m. – Everyone in line has run out of stuff to talk about, so we all start showing each other pictures of babies we know. Half the crowd sits on the ground. More people in IKEA dress shirts show up. TMJ4’s Shaun Gallagher casually twirls his microphone like a cool drummer would as Naughty By Nature’s “O.P.P.” plays over the speakers. We’ve been here about 90 minutes and we realize that there are still twice as many people in front of us in line as there are behind us in line.

May 25
Our kingdom for the story behind this sad/weird squirrel grave we found in Lake Park
The sign—which, yes, was nailed to the log—read: “Directly beneath this log is a squirrel. He didn’t have a name, but he was alone [in] this ravine and I didn’t want to see flies and bugs eat his fucking corpse. R.I.P.”

June 5
Shot For Shot With Chefs: Watch us have 17 shots and a pleasant discussion with Goodkind’s Paul Zerkel

June 14
The catnap coziness of all the cats at the new Sip & Purr cat cafe, ranked
We arrived a bit early to sign our waivers, and grabbed a couple glasses of rose and a cheese board with seasonal fruit, candied nuts and bread. The young men behind the cafe bar were attentive, friendly, and more than ready to answer our rapid fire questions (Yes, they love cats! Yes, they’ve been busy! Yes, 11 cats have been adopted so far! Yes, they’ll take our picture by the sign that says “Eat. Drink. Pet Cats”!)

June 18
We asked Randy from ‘Trailer Park Boys’ to eat, evaluate Vanguard’s “Durty Burger”
“I’ve never had a burger like this, but I like it because it’s spicy and moist. I love the pickles, lettuce, onion, sauce. It’s perfect. It’s the perfect burger in my mind. I approve. That’s a Randy-approved burger right there. If it’s Randy-approved, it’s gotta be good.”

June 28
New East Side poke place is literally a stone’s throw from other East Side poke place. Let’s demonstrate

June 28
Review: Nothing (formerly known as “Taped Music” and “Pre-Recorded Music”) at JoJo’s Martini Lounge
How pointless has it all become? As you’ll notice in the image above, I found out that Summerfest doesn’t even bother to list Pre-Recorded or Taped Music on its daily lineups anymore. Once symbolically reviewing an event that added nothing to the Big Gig, I was now actually reviewing something that didn’t exist. Anyway, here’s what I heard!

July 4
Honor, Service, Love: Remembering the life and heroics of Milwaukee’s Lance Sijan
“In this time where individual pursuit is attempting to replace the values of family, commitment, service, integrity, and honor, this story must be told,” Sijan Rozina says. “He became a beacon of light to people as they connected with him in his life, and 50 years later, we’re still talking about him.”

July 30
We went to Kwik Star, the bizarro version of Kwik Trip that only exists in Iowa
No, this successful hometown gas station isn’t the first company to operate under two separate identities. Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. have existed in regionally-specific harmony for decades now, just as the Hellmann’s and Best Foods mayonnaise brands have long before that. But was a name the only difference between Kwik Trip and Kwik Star? In an effort to answer this question that consumed us, we gassed up at a Kwik Trip and drove almost 200 miles to the closest Kwik Star in the Iowa border town of Dubuque to find out for ourselves.

August 2
No dull moments: Exploring the two sides of the Horicon Marsh
It’s easy to get sentimental about the Marsh. I grew up in Mayville, population 5,000-ish, and the Marsh was almost literally in my backyard. Thinking about it now brings back a rush of memories: fishing at my grandfather’s hunting cabin with buckets full of bullheads, building ridiculously elaborate forts with my friends, sitting on my father’s lap and steering the car as he took our family for a drive. Growing up, the Marsh was a simple fact of life, a place where generations of my family lived and played. It’s still there today, as vast and immovable as ever.

August 2
The kids are alright: A look inside the curious practice of goat yoga
Sure, you have to be welcoming to the wildness around you, but that’s what you signed up for. The goats will gnaw at your mat and nibble on your sandals alongside it. They’ll step on your toes—they may even bound onto your back. You’ll giggle initially as the first one relieves itself inches from your face, but, strangely, you get used to it. You may even wish it would have been you who went home with the day’s prize—even if it’s the byproduct of a pile of pungent pellets deposited squarely on the center of your mat.

August 7
We tried and ranked all the State Fair’s Milk House flavors…on the bleachers where those people had sex last year
Whether mixed with another flavor or consumed all on its own, we thoroughly enjoyed the Milk House’s take on chocolate milk. We didn’t even mind that we were drinking it during a mule show while sitting on the very same spot where two people boned in public a year ago.

August 21
We visited the last Blockbuster video store in America
On one display stand near the cash register there were Red Vines and Reese’s Pieces and all that stuff, just as we remembered. On the next stand there were Clearance Sale DVDs available for purchase, also as we remembered. Then, of course, there was aisle after aisle of classic flicks available for rent. Titles like The ‘Burbs and Cabin Boy and Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas brought us right back to 1999. Ah, nostalgia. This felt juuuust right.

August 22
Just a man and his squirrel: The story of “Peapod”

September 6
We spent the day playing vintage video games at every vintage video arcade in Milwaukee
For those of us who came of age around that magical 1983 calendar year, the arcade resurgence has provided something for everyone, all wrapped in a fuzzy warm glow of cathode-ray nostalgia. Certainly someday this craze will fade again, consoles will fall back into disrepair, and a sick Sinistar cab will be as rare as a magical white buffalo. But until then, we’ll be hoarding quarters and tokens the way we did back when we accepted our paper route money in coins, visions of light cycles and ghosts dancing in our heads.

September 19
Battle of the ‘Boygans: Sheboygan, Wisconsin vs. Cheboygan, Michigan
We recently travelled by Lake Express to Cheboygan, and by old Toyota Camry to Sheboygan, to record data and ultimately determine, once and for all, who’s the better ‘Boygan. The winner received a Milwaukee Record T-shirt, and the loser had to change its name to Alewife. All decisions here are final, so don’t go trying to change our minds with Duke’s Dogs or Schwarz Fish Company smoked salmon. No, wait—absolutely do that.

October 2
25 not-that-interesting facts about Milwaukee
8.
“Uecker seats” is an anagram for “rescue steak.”

October 19
We buried a free George Webb burger in a time capsule in the woods and will unearth it one year from now
We felt good about our impromptu time capsule. It had a picture of Uecker on the top and some Milwaukee Record stickers on the outside. We dated it. We sealed the burger in a ziplock bag. We double-bagged the entire box. We wrapped the thing in packing tape. We had failed to track down a shovel, so we dug a hole in the ground using the ice scraper from our car. We buried our free George Webb burger in a time capsule in the woods.

November 2
The streetcar’s “Grand Hop-ening”: A minute-by-minute report
11:19 a.m. –
Apparently on break from harassing people at Planned Parenthood, a random dude accosts us with some hilarious anti-streetcar literature. We especially like the Rocky Horror-esque call-and-response sheet he’s prepared for Mayor Tom Barrett’s speech. “The streetcar will attract more millennials to the city. BOO!”

November 7
Deeper Than Rap: The beat goes on for Adebisi Agoro after his son’s passing
“We have our time. I was hurt, crying, in a rage, but I had to channel it,” Agoro says. “My son was all beauty. He was great. I can say with all my heart that I had the best child. I love him so much.”

November 21
Requiem for a reluctant deer hunter
Oh god. There it is, dead, no more than 30 yards in front of me. What follows is a confusing, heady cocktail of emotions that blurs my vision and leaves my head swimming. Disbelief. Excitement. Confusion. Excitement again. Regret. Regret. So much regret. For the briefest moment, a harebrained scheme presents itself: When my brother inevitably calls wondering about the shot, I’ll tell him I missed. I’ll leave the deer where it is. Maybe I’ll cover it up with some branches. Maybe I’ll cover it up with some snow. I didn’t do this. It didn’t die. This didn’t happen.

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The 15 best Milwaukee music videos of 2018 http://milwaukeerecord.com/music/the-15-best-milwaukee-music-videos-of-2018/ http://milwaukeerecord.com/music/the-15-best-milwaukee-music-videos-of-2018/#respond Wed, 05 Dec 2018 16:07:13 +0000 http://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=59236  As demonstrated in our recent rundown of the 25 best Milwaukee albums of 2018 (not to mention our list of 10 standout Milwaukee EPs from 2018), a dizzying amount of great music was made and released in our fair city this year. And—surprise, surprise—a wealth of great music videos were released, as well. As we […]

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 As demonstrated in our recent rundown of the 25 best Milwaukee albums of 2018 (not to mention our list of 10 standout Milwaukee EPs from 2018), a dizzying amount of great music was made and released in our fair city this year. And—surprise, surprise—a wealth of great music videos were released, as well. As we prepare to say goodbye to 2018 (finally, oh god, finally), join us as we take a look back on some of the funny, weird, creative, and downright impressive visuals set to music this year.

Abby Jeanne — “Be In The Sun”
During a year that included a successful “Fire In February” residency this winter, two excellent songs released for WMSE’s annual Record Store Day 7-inch, a flurry of high-profile festival gigs, a well-deserved $20,000 Backline grant, and being both the namesake and headliner of her recent “Cosmic Weekend,” Abby Jeanne also found time to put out an awesome music video for one of her new singles. The Eric Olson-directed “Be In The Sun” video features Abby, her backing band, and a graffiti artist doing their thing in a smokey warehouse while in the company of a classic convertible and a crowd of party-goers. The video seems to effortlessly match the song’s cool and relaxed style, and let you see one of the city’s most up-and-coming performers in a new light.

Amanda Huff — “Gravetalking”
There’s a glitched-out “Losing My Religion” vibe coursing through this Kristin Peterson-directed clip for Amanda Huff’s stunning “Gravetalking.” The glitch effects come courtesy of Blackbox Visual; everything else comes courtesy of an all-female cast and crew.

Buffalo Gospel — “18 Wheeler”
The video for “18 Wheeler”—Buffalo Gospel’s most upbeat offering on this year’s On The First Bell—chronicles the tough luck faced by a long haul trucker (played by bandleader Ryan Necci) and his pen pal/potential suitor at a rural motel. Set to the toe-tapping tune, the would-be lovers are victims of circumstance and poor planning, as they continually miss each other on the way to and from a motel and its neighboring tavern. Filmed at Cedar Lake Pub And Motel by Rick Ebbers, the video features cameos from the likes of Joseph Huber, Tab Conard (Holy Shit!), Steph Conard (Sugar Stems), and Milwaukee Record‘s own Josh Hoppert. “Bubba The Dog” also makes an appearance (courtesy of Hope Animal Rescues). Best yet, beloved Milwaukee news anchor Ted Perry turns up in the role of Cedar Lake Pub bartender.

Calliope — “Sea Of Red”
Motorcycles and bars. Shots and femme fatales. Sleazy motels and Super 8. Cigarettes and switchblades. The grindhouse-inspired clip for Calliope’s “Sea Of Red” (from the band’s 2018 album Chapel Perilous) is peak Calliope. Shot, directed, and edited by Victor Buell IV, the video serves as a tribute to all things pulpy, and takes Milwaukee back to the days when Frank’s Power Plant was still open.

GGOOLLDD — “The Way That I Feel”
Can GGOOLLDD even be considered a Milwaukee band these days? After all, the electro-pop group is on the road a lot, as evidenced by this tour-diary video for “The Way That I Feel.” Watch Margaret Butler and her bandmates goof around in green rooms across the country and two Canadian provinces, dance in houses in Los Angeles and Phoenix, don unicorn horns with kids at a Detroit bowling alley, get rowdy in “some hotel” in Seattle, and spend time at a “decrepit shack” somewhere in New Mexico.

Guerrilla Ghost — “Everybody Rap”
Last month, Guerrilla Ghost released “nine tracks of brooding electronics, emotional catharsis, and incendiary political commentary” in the form of their sophomore record, Perpetually Sad Motion Machine. Prior to the album dropping, the experimental hip-hop project put out a visual accompaniment for the release’s lead single. Directed by Ross Monagle, the “Everybody Rap” music video brings rapper/vocalist Chuck Jones and producer Martin Defatte to a variety of locations. On top of dramatizations of the duo raising hell in a record executive’s office, the visually striking video also shows Guerrilla Ghost popping up near the Fiserv Forum, in downtown Racine, in Cactus Club, and at The Vanguard.

King Courteen — “Bucker Boy”
Over the summer, we checked in with King Courteen as he (singer-songwriter Michael Gerlach) wandered around Milwaukee City Hall in his “Simeon The Petrus” music video. A few months after releasing that striking visual project, Gerlach and director Damien Blue returned in November with an even more impressive music video for another King Courteen song. It’s safe to say “Bucker Boy” could be the best Milwaukee-made music video of 2018. Though both Gerlach and Blue are local, they went all the way to a southeastern Utah ghost town to capture the astonishing visuals they paired to the haunting and minimalist acoustic composition. The video’s concept is remarkably simple, but the setting and the cinematography do the majority of the heavy lifting to help set this project apart from other locally-shot efforts.

LUXI — “Lost Letters” (video game)
Some artists make music videos; others sit down and make full-blown video games to accompany their work. Leave it to tireless electronic star LUXI to do the latter. The moody, hand-crafted game for Lost Letters (Of Seraphina) (created simultaneously with the album itself) lets players explore a post-apocalyptic set to LUXI’s similarly moody, hand-crafted music. Many Milwaukee videos boast striking visuals, but only one boasts visuals courtesy of the Unreal Engine and Windows 10.

Midwest Death Rattle — “Square Wave”
Also directed by Monagle—the videographer behind the Guerrilla Ghost video we’d mentioned earlier—Midwest Death Rattle’s “Square Wave” music video captures some fun in the Lincoln Warehouse. Footage of the band performing the sleek and dance-able title track from this year’s standout EP is interspersed with shots of a wild (and decidedly weird) party. The costumed party-goers occasionally take a break from dancing and reach into the fridge for a cold one…and a surprise. Come for the awesome new Midwest Death Rattle song and stay for the shocking twist. No people and only one kitchen appliance were harmed in the making of this video.

Mini Meltdowns — “Number On Me”
This year brought the debut of to Mini Meltdowns, a new Milwaukee-Nashville punk project that features current and former members of The Promise Ring, Limbeck, Dashboard Confessional, Rx Drugs, and The Benjamins in its ranks. After the supergroup released its debut 7-inch in spring, the Jon Phillip-led endeavor treated listeners to a visual pairing for the first Mini Meltdowns single. The “Number On Me” video was filmed at a variety of romantic and recognizable locations throughout Milwaukee. In it, director Nick Sommer documents a budding relationship that quickly goes awry. After the leading man (played by Sommer) loses his partner, he takes some unconventional measures to try and recreate the relationship he once had. Phillip also appears in the video, singing along as a he stows away in the atypical and artificial couple’s trunk.

Paper Holland — “Sea [Sic]”
More than five years after putting out its debut record, Paper Holland released Galápagos in June. The long-awaited sophomore album brought out the band’s distinct “trop-pop” style and wisped listeners away on an aural island getaway. The video for “Sea [Sic]”perfectly fits both the song and the entire album’s escapist theme. Shot and directed by Joe Ludwig, the “Sea [Sic]” music video features the band letting loose on two different Milwaukee beaches during two drastically different types of weather. Watch Paper Holland play on the sands of South Shore Beach and on the snow at Bradford Beach. If the current conditions have you down, treat this video as a four-minute vacation.

Q The Sun — “Psychic Spiral”
The video for Q The Sun’s hypnotic “Psychic Spiral” is a little bit Pulp Fiction, a little bit Eyes Wide Shut. Hey, is that the field outside the Urban Ecology Center? Yes it is. Hey, is that Christopher Gilbert and Bo Triplex? Yes it is. Hey, is it another stellar New Age Narcissism video from filmmakers Damien Blue, Austin Manchon, and Quinn Hester? You bet it is.

Soda Road — “Four White Horses”
There’s a resigned wistfulness blowing through Varsity Of Winter, the debut album from Milwaukee’s Soda Road. Written by former Sat. Nite Duets member Stephen Strupp during the Polar Vortex of 2014, it’s a melancholy, stay-at-home-and-bundle-up kind of record. Not that there isn’t time for some self-deprecating levity: Take “Four White Horses,” a shuffling country ditty that contains this zinger: “I’d lift weights but they’re too heavy / Rather lift lines from Tom Petty.” Then there’s the lovely, hand-crafted video by Brooklyn-based artist Kate Klingbeil, which speaks for itself.

Soul Low — “Bad Set Of Moods”
We’re born, we’re young (for a while), we’re old (for a while), and we die. It’s as simple as that. Actually, the “old” part tends to take up most of our time. And what do we tend to dwell on during that “old” part? The “young” part, of course. So it goes in the video for Soul Low’s “Bad Set Of Moods,” a stealthy and bittersweet examination of the fleeting joys of youth, the dangers of nostalgia, and the time-honored ridiculousness of roller skating. Directed by Minneapolis-based filmmaker Jake Nokovic, the bulk of the video brings to life the song’s manic chipperness, though a pair of bookends tap into an underlying bitterness. Plus, singer Jake Balistreri strikes a serious pose on the rink.

Von Alexander — “Demons”
Light, color, sound. It’s all on display in the eye-popping (and unnerving) video for Von Alexander’s 2017 track “Demons.” The clip, directed by Brett Schmidt and David Naida, cuts back and forth from a set bathed in Suspiria-like reds to a starkly lit wooded scene. Both are straight out of horror movies, and both bring the song’s themes to terrifying life.

BONUS

Various artists, filmmakers, and supporters — “Public Domain”
Though we’d feel bad giving our own visual venture one of the 15 slots on the list, we also feel the need to acknowledge and thank all those who have allowed our monthly “Public Domain” music video series to continue and thrive in 2018. First and foremost, we want to thank Cheston Van Huss of Effigy MKE (hire him!) for all the work he’s done. With tight time constraints and equally demanding deadlines, our trusted videographer manages to shoot, record/mix, edit, and hand in an outstanding music every month. By year’s end, Cheston will have directed 11 of the 12 “Public Domain” installments this season (and 30 of 32 since the series started close to three years ago). Wes Tank and Kelly Anderson directed the other one in 2018. Others who made this year’s video possible include: Travis Whitty, Jason Hillman, Ellie Jackson, Grant Steskal, Joseph Huber, and Josh Evert.

Of course, all Cheston and company’s efforts would be for nothing if it weren’t for all the musicians who took the time to select, learn, and adapt a song from the public domain. This series wouldn’t exist without all the brave and creative Milwaukee bands and solo artists who accepted this challenge. This year, we also opened “Public Domain” up to national artists, which led to amazing adaptations of aged material by the likes of In Tall Buildings, The Handsome Family, and PEARS. This thank you also extends to the pair of projects whose videos haven’t debuted yet this year.

Lastly, we can’t forget our sponsors. Colectivo Coffee has supported this strange and wonderful video series from day one, and they’ve given us the freedom and resources to do this the way we want. Along the way, Transfer Pizzeria Café came aboard to help us put in more resources and reach even more people. This year also brought Milwaukee Pride and 3 Sheeps Brewing Company into the sponsorship mix. Huge thanks to Cactus Club for lending us their space and their stage when necessary, and thanks to all of you for watching these videos. They’re very special to us. Be on the lookout for more “Public Domain” episodes in 2019!

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